Say “Olive You!” With Tasty, Easy Olive Appetizers
Holiday gatherings and cozy time spent indoors are on our autumn-into-winter calendar: time for conversation, and fun, and food! Time for easy, delicious appetizers to share with friends and family.
Start with olives from Port Plums! Here are four tested and crowd-approved recipes that take advantage of the great flavors found in our variety of stuffed olives from Spain. Perfect for formal or informal gatherings – and full of great taste.
And they're easy recipes! Simple enough to pull together in minutes, pop into the fridge, and have at hand for an impressive and delicious presentation when friends come by.
#1: Fig and Olive Tapenade:
This recipe was the hands-down favorite among our tasters. It comes together in minutes to make ahead. It's savory and sweet, with great textures, and makes a lovely presentation. We served it with cream cheese, but tasters suggested that goat cheese would also add tangy, rich goodness. What do you think? Yum!
Fig and Olive Tapenade
1 C dried figs, chopped
1 Tb Tuscan Herb infused olive oil
2 Tb fig balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 C almond-stuffed Manzanilla olives, chopped
- Chop the figs and olives into dice, for easier serving and eating.
- Simmer figs in ½ C water in pan over medium heat, cooking until tender.
- Stir in remaining ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, four hours or overnight, for flavors to blend.
- Place 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese (or goat cheese), room temperature, on a serving plate, and top with tapenade. Garnish with whole stuffed olives, if desired.
- Serve with crackers or toasted baguette (very nice brushed with garlic olive oil before toasting!)
#2: Warm Seasoned Stuffed Olives:
Delicious aromas, delicious taste – heat and enjoy! These olives are wonderful simply piled in a bowl with picks handy, or enjoyed atop crackers or bread. Try them, too, as a topper for a tangy soft cheese such as goat, feta, or cream cheese, or alongside cheeses recommended by your cheesemonger (maybe Manchego? Mmm!). Or – as a luxe and memorable pizza topping!
Warm Seasoned Stuffed Olives
1 Tb garlic infused olive oil
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
5 or 6 fresh thyme sprigs (strip away and discard large twigs)
2 C olives – try a mixture of:
- Garlic-stuffed Gordal Olives
- Seville orange-stuffed Manzanilla Olives
- Lemon-stuffed Manzanilla Olives
¼ tsp salt - if needed, or to taste
- Roughly chop the olives (easier for eating).
- In a saucepan, simmer all ingredients for about ten minutes until well heated.
- Season, if desired, with ¼ tsp salt (or to taste).
- Serve warm, alone, or with bread or crackers, or cheese, as desired.
- Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
#3: Awesome Olive Dip
This simple recipe is rich and versatile: use it as a dip, a spread, or even as a special ingredient – tasters suggested it could be a wonderful stuffing for a fancy chicken breast, or a tasty ham roll-up. The seasoned “La Abuela” recipe olives are so savory. My mouth is watering!
P.S. One taster made fun of this dip's name – until he tasted it!
Awesome Olive Dip
1 C Pitted Queen Olives, “La Abuela” Recipe (about 12 large olives)
3 Tb brine from olives (or more, as needed), including onion slices and herbs from jar
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
½ C mayonnaise (I like Caine's)
- Using a knife, food processor, or blender, chop the olives to desired fineness (I like mine minced, with small bits remaining – not a puree), adding brine (including onion and herbs).
- Mix in the softened cream cheese, and then the mayonnaise, adding more brine, if needed, to bring the mixture to a good dipping consistency.
- Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate for several hours or overnight for even better flavor. Serve with crackers, bread, and/or crudite. . . or experiment!
#4: Quickest Lemon Olive Hummus
Homemade hummus! This is one the fastest recipes ever, and an eye-opener for me. Who knew how simple it is to create wonderful hummus? Chickpeas, olives, olive oil, garlic, parsley: give it a whirl and that's that! (Of course, the flavorful lemon-stuffed Manzanilla olives are our secret ingredient.)
Quickest Lemon Olive Hummus
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1/3 C lemon-stuffed Manzanilla olives (about 12 small olives)
4 Tb lemon infused olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp dried parsley (or 1½ tsp fresh)
salt and pepper to taste
- note: if desired, stir in water, a little at a time, for a less dense consistency
- Blend all ingredients to desired consistency using food processor, blender, or immersion blender. Enjoy immediately, or refrigerate several hours or more, covered, to let flavors blend. Serve with crackers, pita bread, and/or crudite.
- This is a recipe to play with, too – try other flavors of stuffed olives to create your signature blend!
Spend more time with your family and friends, and a little less time in the kitchen, with these easy recipes. Start with a jar of exquisite olives – or one of each flavor! – and create memorable appetizers in minutes. Happy Cooking!